Farm animal genetic resources

Farm animal genetic resources in Norway include all farm animals used for breeding — whether they're the stray cat that has kittens in the backyard, the purebred dog that's inseminated with imported semen, the Dole horse mare that spends the summer in Sikkilsdalen, the ewe that mates with the prize ram, or the cow inseminated with elite semen. The production breeds owned by the breeding companies Geno, Norsvin and Norwegian Sheep and Goat Association are important genetic resources internationally, while endangered breeds native to Norway receive the most attention from national conservation programs in Norway.

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Photo: Anna Holene / Norsk genressurssenter / NIBIO

Anna Caroline Holene
Senior Scientific Advicer, Norwegian Genetic Resource Center - Division of Survey and Statistics

(+47) 948 27 598 Office Location: Ås R9


The traits of plants and animals are determined by their heritage and environment. Inherited traits are determined by genes contained within their DNA.

- Genetic variation refers to the differences in DNA/genes between individuals and/or populations, and is a prerequisite for both evolution and the refinement and development of new varieties and breeds. Genetic variation is an important part of biological diversity.

- Genetic resources can be defined as biological materials with genetic variation or genetic traits that could be significant for development and targeted use. Seeds, plants, sperm, and animals are examples of genetic resources.